Local News: Niere: ‘More Whistleblowers to Surface to Denounce the Present Adminis-tration’s Oppressive Acts, Anomalies’
The latest whistleblowers against the administration of Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia, Reynaldo "Butch" Ebreo and feisty Romeo "Romy" Niere, have declared they will not relent in the expose’ of the alleged anomalies committed by Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia and his cohorts which they have carried out for twelve years, the number of years they have held office in the Bacolod City government.
Niere’s latest tirade concerns what he said, is the effort of a loyalist of Leonardia who enticed him to support the guy in his effort to bag the CCTV project costing P2-M which the administration has promised to install in city hall or the New Government Center.
The installation of the closed circuit TV came after the robbery-hold up committed by a rob gang, coming mainly from Mindanao, the Paroginog-Ozamis gang.
Niere explained that it was not true that money or material things were the reason for his dillusionment with Leonardia and company, as in a recent interview after his bombshells, the Bacolod mayor said he (Niere) wanted to bag a certain project, which Leonardia did not allow him to get hold of. Leonardia’s statement was backed by close aide Marlou "Nonoy" Amago, a much-whispered personality in city hall, along with Noe "Top Gun" Destajo, Jose "Peping" Villanueva and several people. Hugo "Tutay" Corral appeared to be the most prominent of Leonardia’s aides, one of the most visible bagmen.
In an earlier statement, during a press conference, Niere had said that Leonardia, when he leaves office, could be the "richest ex-mayor in Bacolod City and the most corrupt."
On his latest return to Bacolod City, Niere said another close aide of Leonardia, one Leo Bentinganan, the mayor’s private secretary excitedly proposed to him that he (Leo) should handle the CCTV project which would be installed in city hall, and which would be sourced by a close friend of Bentinganan, one Eddie Latina who has a computer shop in the city. There would be an alleged twenty (20) percent commission in it for Bentinganan, because he had seldom been given projects by Leonardia with overprice or commissions. He had said, Niere requested the US-based Filipino and US citizen because of his perceived clout with the Bacolod mayor, to bring up the matter with the Bacolod chief executive. Niere was to give the project proposal to Leonardia.
When readjusted to ensure an overprice, the CCTV project would cost in all over P2-M. Latina is connected with Hardy Computer Shop, added Niere.
What many did not know is that, by then, Niere had realized that he and even a lot of people had been taken in for a ride by Leonardia. But he already started to hit at the Bacolod chief executive on the CENECO issue.
Aside from Bentinganan, Niere lashed out at Hugo "Tutay" Corral who was not even officially working in city hall but was a bagman. He said he came to know Corral a long time ago, because when the latter once visited the US where Niere resides, he was so affected by the wintry weather, his son (Niere) bought a costly $600 jacket for Corral.
The Bacolod broadcaster of long-standing indicated in an earlier press conference in a local refreshment parlor that his dismay with Leonardia started when he and other mouthpieces of the mayor, were "encouraged to lambast" former CENECO President Edward Gasambelo for reportedly burdening concessionaires with unjustified and huge payments for the electric cooperative’s sourcing its power from the Panay Electric Development Corporation (PEDC), an Iloilo-based power and electricity plant. Leonardia and Corral indicated that their motive was to ensure the unburdening of electric rates paid by CENECO and its concessionaires. But the actual intent, he saw later, was their possible use of electricity from a rival firm and the "commissions" that could be availed, said Niere.
Other issues related to perceived anomalies such as the construction of the COA-disallowed New Government Center (NGC) or city hall, the Felisa landfill property, Abada-Escay Relocation project; development of P100-M purchase of Arao relocation center property in Estefania Village, gasoline consumptions in city hall; trips to other places, anomalous purchase of furniture and fixtures , irregular or suspicious motive because it is being dealt and so many other purchases, expenditures and acquisitions are being handled by various other whistleblowers who have cropped up.
The addition to the whistleblowers’ group aside from the original people Sarah Teresa Esguerra and Victor Eduardo are Reynaldo "Butch" Ebreo, Mrs. Melba Baguio Alejandrino, widow of the late SP Secretary Nilo Alejandrino and Romy Niere who was known for his early years crusade against the Central Negros Electric Cooperative (CENECO).
Another whistleblower in Akbayan’s Ma. Teresa Lozada who was transferred to the cemetery in Handumanan Village on perceived disloyalty against Leonardia but who, two days ago, jubilantly reported that she has been returned to her post in city hall’s Population Commission (POPCOM). The return of Lozada was due to a Civil Service Commission (CSC) ruling.
More have indicated to NNF that in due time, they will surface to air complaints and grievances or to expose the Bacolod mayor’s alleged anomalous and irregular acts.
They said they have not also come across a personally-vindictive official as the Bacolod chief executive proved himself to be.*